Okay, okay, time to 'fess up. I've been a tad naughty.
On commenting on my favourite Social Worker's blog, here, I used colourful vocabulary. I shouldn't have. Her "Comment Policy" even says :
"4. No swearing/bad language"
Although in fairness I never read it before today. Ooops.
Quite rightly, she's ammended my comment so it's clear what I said, but it's not obviously offensive. I feel suitably chided and won't sully her splendid blog with my base vulgarity again. Sorry, CB.
It did get me thinking, though.
I don't comment on people, often. It's not something I feel comfortable doing. The only people I comment on are folk I know very well. Whether it's to say they're a good person or a caring person or a loyal friend, or whether it's to say they're scatty or self centred or ruthlessly assertive, such comments can only be made on folk we know inside out.
I do comment on behaviour often. Someone may be a good or not so good person, which I can't know so can't comment on. But their behaviour, as Tolkein's Faramir would say, is a chance for a man to, "show his quality."
On this basis, I felt wholly justified and reflexively commented that, on considering a suitable description of Ed Ball I opted for, "I’d try for, “behaving as an utter cunt.”"
I have my quirks and foibles. One of them's language. I'm pretty easy going and am not seeking to change how other folk use language. I've no crusade. My use of language is often far from perfect. My schooling was in a local comp by a massive deprived housing estate; nuances of grammar were eclipsed by teachers' desire for us to simply write in something less troublesome than someone elses blood. So it's simply a personal position that I see careless, sloppy, wildly inaccurate use of language as "bad" language and see colourful/swearing as simply part of vocabulary to use when sought.
It's not often I swear, in truth. But I see such words as helpful interjections. Almost by definition, such interjections are exclamations and inherently have an exclamation mark. Thus they're useful if, like exclamation marks, they're scattered occasionally to succinctly reinforce a point.
My wife chides me over this. Brought up on a diet of Germaine Greer, Naomi Wolfe and the like, she doesn't like me using such words. And I'm not so bold as to frustrate the will of my wife. I curtail my use of colourful language in her good company. When it was in vogue in the '90s, she went to the theatre to see "The Vagina Monologues" with some female friends. She relayed how the audience had been challenged to see female words, like cunt, as positive. A bloke on the street shouts out, "You utter cunt!" The woman's response should be to beam radiantly and visibly cherish this, replying "Oooh, thank you!"
Reclaiming words. This appeals to me. A bit like mental health stigma, I like to believe we can reclaim unfashionable words to use them helpfully.
She's still mortified to hear the word cunt. I shall endeavour to behave better.